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Phoenix_jz

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About Phoenix_jz

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  • Birthday 02/02/1999
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    Ammiraglio di 1ª Divisione Incrociatori Pesanti
    -Italian Heavy Cruiser Ace-
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  1. Phoenix_jz

    Emilio Paolo

    Now that we can see the ship - I think the dirty little secret is that this ship has three things in common with the Capitani; A) The name of one of the ships B) 135mm guns C) The 'Clover'-style quadruple torpedo tubes Otherwise... I really don't think it's a Capitani at all. The hull shape, superstructure, fire control equipment - it's all wrong. It's honestly giving me the impression of a 'Small Montecuccoli' than a Capitani.
  2. Phoenix_jz

    Italians are coming!

    Even the largest of shells (Yamato's) will arm from 77mm effective thickness. Any shell that will fuse on 150mm at any angle will fuse on 100mm at an identical angle. There's very little practical difference. It makes no difference. That being said, the 30mm upper belt does allow it to auto-bounce away many shells that would otherwise overmatch the same area on other cruisers, so only 431mm+ guns can overmatch that portion of the belt. Algérie gets loads of buffs and gimmicks from her line. Same with many of the other cruisers. Why should we compare a 'base' Zara to already buffed ships at tier VII & tier VIII? It makes little sense. Unfortunately it seems that WG have run with this silly no-HE flavor, plus no Hydro and DFAA, so unfortunately the 'flavor' additions have proven to be more subsections than anything else. That being said; Compared to 'base' New Orleans, Zara has one less gun, but considerably more powerful guns individually (better ballistics and penetration) - in fact, if you even want to touch it, better reload rate - although the penetration advantage is partially nullified by the absurdly high Krupp value of the USN 8" shells and their improved auto-bounce angles. That aside, while NO has better AA, a Zara has tougher armor, more health, and a higher top speed. Additionally her gun arrangement is better suited to kiting and her aft firing arcs are better. Fiji, setting aside even the fact she's gimmicked to hell, can't even penetrate a broadside Zara unless the range is 8 km or less, and that drops below 7 km at a 30º angle. Myoko is a tier VIII that was dropped to tier VII, so she's always been strong for her tier, but she also has loads of extra goodies - the IJN HE flavor gives her massively buffed HE damage and fire chance, and she gets her designed top speed in spite of the fact she's in her post-rebuild state, etc, etc. BBs will almost always plow through a 150mm belt that's not at auto-bounce angles - I don't even think that's up for debate - but given the extensive nature of the 150mm belt and 30mm upper belt, it makes it quite difficult to overmatch the side armor of a Zara at 30º angles - and it's guns can still all be brought to bear at that angle. However, against cruisers, the angled belt does give a considerable advantage when it comes to longer-ranged gunnery duels, and offers protection against 203mm shells and 152mm shells at ranges where other cruisers simply don't have any safety. That is worth something (especially given the massive number of 152mm cruisers that exist as of the more recent lines). The resistance offered against DD AP is also of considerable advantage (especially since WG just set up a line of destroyers that, at tiers 8-10, have the penetrative power of 152mm AP). At the end of the day, the issue it boils down to is that a Zara needs a lot of more uncomfortable nerfs to sit at tier VII, balanced, than it needs buffs to sit at tier VIII and be balanced.
  3. Phoenix_jz

    Italians are coming!

    Generally speaking, the over-penetrations tend to result from lower citadels and shells simply flying through the upper hull, not the citadel itself. A lot of ships with stepped citadels also have the issue of the raised transverse bulkheads being fairly vulnerable. 150 vs 100mm doesn't make a huge difference when it comes to slowing battleship-caliber shells for cruisers of these dimensions. For a citadel like what a Zara has, it's a more extensive one that will see you punished hard for being broadside, but is actually much better for angling due to how extensive it is. Given the level of powercreep, Zara fits more as a tier 7.5 - but that's true of most of the older tier VIII cruisers. The issue is, compared to tier VII cruisers, she's better than most. Before gimmicks and a-historical upgrades are taken into account - well, compared to Algérie she's faster, better armored, has a more compact citadel, has more powerful guns, better firing arcs, and better AA - and in exchange didn't have torpedoes. Yorck is a similar story.
  4. Phoenix_jz

    Italians are coming!

    The AP + SAP flavor makes sense for the battleships, but is a bit daft for the cruisers - since they only had AP and HE. Hipper's armor is inferior, considerably thinner. Zara is a much smaller, more compact design with considerably better armor. She did have HE, I dunno what the heck has convinced WG to replace with with SAP (which will have to be a fictional shell). Also, real life rate of fire matters little at this point. Hipper's real-life rate of fire was 21-22 seconds per gun, considerably slower than Zara. The idea that Zara should be limited to historical reload when almost no other heavy cruiser is... is pretty ridiculous.
  5. Phoenix_jz

    Emilio Paolo

    As I've said before, I do and it extremely silly for a Capitani Romani placed at tier X to be limited to the 1938 guns. The Russian 130/58 Pattern 1957 is extremely common at tier IX-X (Neustrashimy, Grozovoi, secondaries on Moskva, Stalingrad, Kreml, Slava, soon main battery on Smolensk). The Italian 135/45 M1957 is its contemporary - so I really don't see why it isn't a viable option to upgrade a tier X Capitani to use such guns - à la Tashkent. Limiting the guns to a low rate of fire is silly, especially for a Khaba-sized ship without the, ah, bullship armor. The Capitani are often compared to the Mogador-class, since they were historical rivals, but in games terms it doesn't really work. The Capitani are larger ships, which helped make them superior irl, but also distinctly less 'destroyer-like' than the Mogador-class. Realistically speaking, a ship like Khabarovsk is closer to Paolo Emilio than Paolo Emilio is to Mogador. Khaba has inherent advantages (the magic of not being built) in terms of the 50mm armor belt and 25mm armor deck, the superior gun ballistics, and a larger torpedo battery (2x5 vs 2x4) with better firing arcs. Paolo Emilio's only inherent advantages is the superior health, and the marginally higher top speed (43.5 knots). At the end of the day, a Capitani Romani lacks the stealth, torpedo count (the extra quadruple torpedo mount seems daft to me, but we'll have to see where they try and fit it. As of now I'm not considering the extra torpedo bank), torpedo launch arcs, and torpedo quality to even remotely try and qualify as a torpedo boat. Thus, the only option is to have it work as (another) gunboat. In order to make it competitive compared to something like Khaba, you have to up the DPM and increase the survivability, since the ballistics and armor is inferior. Paolo Emilio as given by WG has less than half the rudder shift, which is a fantastic benefit, but the turning circle radius is an extra 50 meters compared to Khaba - I'd probably change that. I'd also give it a high turret traverse rate (25º/sec?) to allow for more freedom of movement. As far as the guns go - the ballistics won't be impressive with such low velocity, not compared to the Russian guns which fire heavier shells (33 vs 33.5 kg) at higher velocities (825 vs 900 m/s), and probably have lower drag too. Khaba runs around with only 12 rpm - for the Paolo Emilio I'd use maybe 15 rpm? - balance depending. 15 rpm would allow for an HE DPM of 240k and AP DPM of 300k, comparable to Haragumo. The greater effective penetration of the shells might make it too much DPM, but that's of course where fine-tuning can come in and smooth out those issues. As far as the question of AP and SAP goes - there's really no reason WG can't do the same thing they've done for literally almost every destroyer gun to date and give it a proper AP shells. Hell, if we consider the insanity that is the buffs heaped on the French 138.6mm/50 AP... well, I'd rather avoid that (where literally every aspect the shell is buffed - drag, muzzle velocity, Krupp). The high caliber gives inherently high HE penetration (for a destroyer gun), which makes such low-penetration SAP rather pointless. The issue with SAP on destroyers is always going to be that you're stuck between making it either inferior AP, or making it better than the HE. As of now most destroyer AP already has a short fuse - 0.01 seconds. The only way to make it shorter, really, is to give it the RNCL fuse - 0.005 seconds. Perhaps that would be the way to go - structure it like RNCL SAP, in order to create a specialized destroyer-killer. HE would be a considerably less attractive option at that point, but the 135mm SAP wouldn't be as powerful as the RNCL 152mm SAP, which means it's far from being as universal. The HE would still be useful for setting fires, or for attacking highly angles targets. In the theme of hunting enemy destroyers, perhaps the consumable combination could be changed to a speed boost that has longer duration, rather than a greater increase, compared to French speed boosts, and a smoke that can function to cover you at higher speeds would also work well. Additionally, assuming torpedoes don't change - the 8 km/58-knot or 4 km/68 knot settings might make more sense (Or fudge a 6 km/63 knot setting?), due to the fact you're not so much a torpedo boat as a destroyer hunter, and those types of torpedoes can be better suited to dealing with enemy destroyers than the sea mines. Damage could be upped slightly, since later torpedoes used German SW explosives, which were about 7% more powerful than TNT. Other mixes were used, but I'm not sure how to quantify them. Essentially, the idea is it's a fast gunboat destroyer optimized around catching and destroying the other large, fast gunbotey-destroyers that exist at tier IX and X. The trade-off is the decreased utility against enemy battleships and cruisers. The torpedo power isn't really enough for anything but an 'oh crap' moment, and the HE is sort of 'meh', but can at least start fires and does decent damage, and you've got a lot of them (at 15 rpm, that's 120 rounds to a broadside per minute). As far as AA goes - the 135/45 is dual-purpose, so four of those mounts will likely provide a very good long-range AA bubble. Compared to the Russian 130/58 (which is actually an /54) the bursting charge is less, but the rate of fire is greater. Overall, I'd expect it to have greater DP AA power than Grozovoi. For AA quite a few options exist. An automatic rather than hand-loading 65mm, the 76mm guns, quadruple 37mm mounts as on the CMO's, etc.
  6. Phoenix_jz

    HMS Nelson vs Bismarck

    Fair enough! Thanks for the discussion, I enjoyed it.
  7. Phoenix_jz

    Naval and Defense News 2019 (con't)

    Dishonest reporting from Reuters, I assume for the sake of sensationalism and headlines. The program cost for the subs is about €10 billion in total, not for a single sub. Program cost was €9.9 billion, cost per sub, €1.3 billion, as of 2013. Adjusted for inflation, that's equal to $11.71 billion USD total today, and $1.54 billion per sub (considerably cheaper than a Seawolf). To compare, the cost of an Astute is, in 2019 USD, over $2.28 billion.
  8. Phoenix_jz

    HMS Nelson vs Bismarck

    As I've mentioned previously, her Achilles heel is the nigh-unprotected 152mm battery & their magazines. A hit aft by an HE shell has plenty of potential to lead to a devastating secondary battery explosion..
  9. Phoenix_jz

    HMS Nelson vs Bismarck

    It's important to note that maximum ballistic range is not the same as maximum firing range. Even in a crystal-clear daylight confrontation in the Mediterranean or Pacific, the maximum effective range for battleship gunnery is about 35,000 yards. That's about the maximum range either ship would open up under ideal conditions - and as this is far from ideal conditions. If this is a clash of Nelson and Bismarck, then we're looking at either the North Atlantic or the North Sea, where even under ideal conditions the maximum effective gunnery range for a given caliber is limited - hence why I used around 25,000 yards as my maximum range. Typically that was the maximum range anyone was willing to open fire, with the exception of the Terrible Twins sinking Glorious (Scharnhorst opened fire at 28,400 yards). I would expect, at the most, maybe for Nelson to open fire first at 26,000 yards with Bismarck's reply potentially delayed until 21,000 to 23,000 yards at the latest. To keep things simple I'll use the same plot as before. For Bismarck, if we open fire at 25,500 yards, and take 5 minutes to secure straddles (1x 4-gun salvo/min) and go into rapid fire, and take another five minutes of rapid fire (3x 4-gun salvoes/min), that's 20 rounds for the first five minutes (2-3 rpg), 60 rounds for every next five minutes (7-8 rpg). That's 10 rpg burned for the first ten minutes, 15 over the next ten minutes, and another 15 for another ten minutes. At that point, each gun would have about 4 APC rounds left and Bismarck would be in trouble (assuming 353 rpg) - but that's also after 30 minutes of continuous firing, and assuming the same course I mentioned before, Bismarck crossed Nelson's T between the 20 and 25 minute marks. I'll put Nelson though the same situation. The British tended to favor high rates of salvo fire before swapping to full broadsides, which makes things easy. Navweaps credits a rate of 1.6 rpm for salvo fire (4 & 5-gun salvoes) at Bismarck's last battle, so I'll use that. With that rate, you get 8 salvoes over five minutes, or 36 rounds (4 rpg), or 16 every ten minutes (72 rounds, 8 rpg). After 15 minutes range is down to only 13,500 yards, so I'll assume broadsides start rolling out then (thus over the first 15 minutes 24 salvoes are fired for 108 rounds, aka, 12 rpg). The next fifteen minutes of straight broadsides are Navweap's 1.1 rpm allows for 16 broadsides, or 144 rounds fired (16 rpg) - this assumes Nelson adjusts her course to keep all guns on target rather than allow her T to be crossed. After 30 minutes of continuous gunnery, Bismarck will have fired off 320 APC rounds (40 rpg), almost every AP shell she carries (4 rpg + 1 are left). Nelson will have fired off 252 APC rounds (28 rpg), which still leaves plenty of capacity. According to Campbell, the Nelson-class carried only APC, with HE only being carried specifically if there was to be a bombardment mission. In mid-1943 that changed to 95 rounds of APC & 5 time-fused HE (Unlike the older HE, these had a real nose fuse, not one buried inside the ballistic cap - so they would actually detonate). Either way, Nelson still has 67 APC per gun left after 30 minutes. The big question, though, is what this actually means practically. It's great to have all that extra ammo, but that doesn't help in the short term. Does Nelson survive the first 30 minutes of combat? Honestly... It's a little unlikely she comes out better than Bismarck. Her opponent is already firing off about 27% more shells (9.35% more mass). The only way she can really make up for that is hitting more often... and Nelson is a bit screwed from that angle. She's using an older FC system with inferior limits, inferior rangefinders (the director rangefinder had not even half the base length of Bismarck's, 4.572 meters versus 10.5 meters). She's going to have a much harder time hitting than Bismarck, and it's extremely unlikely she hit first. The German battleship achieved a hit rate of 4.3% at Denmark strait - which implies, in our scenario, about 5-6 hits in ten minutes of rapid-fire before ranges drop below that of Denmark Strait (total 15 minutes firing time), and where Nelson can be penetrated pretty much anywhere by Bismarck's guns. In the reverse... well, the Nelson is going to struggle to be hitting. In the same time period (15 min, just before we got to broadside firing), she'll have output 108 shells, and scored maybe 2-3 hits - about half as many as her opponent (I'm assuming a 2-3% hit rate). More likely than not, she's going to be in considerably worse condition than Bismarck by the time the range drops below 13,500 yards, and at that point the advantage is firmly in Bismarck's favor. The one close-range advantage for Nelson - her torpedoes - while helpful, a hit would be far from devastating as Bismarck's TDS is likely to be able to handle it (the torpedoes had a warhead 337 kg TNT, the USN rated the Bismarck's system as proof against just over 400 kg). No matter how you cut it, Nelson is more likely to be taking more damage than Bismarck as the range closes, and she's screwed once the range does get close.
  10. Phoenix_jz

    French Destroyers: The History

    For those asking about paper - yeah, they're a breath of fresh air after the Russian battleships, only one of which entered service. For the Marine Nationale destroyers and contre-torpilleurs, all but two were real and entered service. The tier III, Fucilier, is a 1,350-ton destroyer design first proposed on 1 April 1920, and approved by the navy minister on 28 April. Due to the weakness of the armament compared to the Italian 120mm gun, the design was dropped, although not forgotten - it became the basis of what became the Bourrasque-class. The tier X ship is, unlike what the article states, is not the Type 1939 design. It's just a WG design for a 'super-Mogador'. The initial successor to the Mogador-class discarded the aft torpedo tubes for 100mm dual-purpose guns, but this was thrown out due to excessive topweight and the design shifted to a ship using the 130mm/45 dual-purpose gun for the main battery, removing the 138.6mm/50.. There was no design incorporating the 138.6mm/50 and 4x3 torpedo tubes, and the 57mm guns that arm it in-game only entered service 10 years after the loss of Mogador and Volta.
  11. Phoenix_jz

    Conqueror Kremlin

    To be fair, that was only for turret roofs (150mm on Dunkerque, 170-195mm for Richelieu). The armor decks otherwise were all homogenous armor (80 kg/mm2 UTS) That being said, 50-60mm is insanely thin for a cemented plate of any kind. For mot navies, 100mm was the minimum thickness of cemented plates (to the point where RM firing tables for 203mm against cemented armors ignore any penetrative value less than 100mm as being irrelevant due to the minus thickness). Only on some of the original Krupp plating, and some Austrian ships, do you get down to 80mm. Was their construction steel that bad? From what I understand they were widely utilizing Dücol steel, which was also used to great success by the British and Italians. Or did you mean more in regards to production quality rather than quality of the steel in strength and tolerances (at least, when the steel they're supposed to be making is properly produced). That being said, the biggest penalty that having poor strength steel seems to have is tonnage eaten into for the same structural strength - the textbook example would be France in the 1920s-1930s, who had inferior construction steel than the other nations and thus were using thicker plates for the same strength. The result was that their hull tonnage was generally greater than that of their foreign contemporaries, which was of great detriment during the WNT period (and resulted in nigh armor-less heavy cruisers like the Duquesne-class). That plus the powerplant and armor weight being questionable. Khaba is somehow only 4,280 tons in the game files - barely heavier than Tashkent, but somehow is able to incorporate an entire extra main battery turret (which alone weighs 48.4 tons), an 18% increase in output power (and that's not even bringing up the fact that shaft loading goes from a doable 55,000 shp per shaft to 65,000 shp per shaft - on a 1936 design!). That's possibly excusable with 'better boilers, better turbines, better steel for the hull', although theoretically only (it's beyond what they were capable of at the time)... but does nothing to compensate for the hundreds of tons of armor the ship carries. A simple comparison with what Mogador and the Capitani Romani classes achieved with their tonnage (and no armor) is more than enough to show how insane Khaba's design is...
  12. Phoenix_jz

    Large Surface Combatant speculation/predictions

    I don't think that a 150 man crew for a cruiser of DDG is going to happen any time soon. The current FFG(X) is asking for a capacity of 200 crew if I'm recalling correctly, so even if we discount that capacity for aviation components and a some extras on board for whatever reason, that's still easily going to be 160+ crew. Considering Tico's and Burke's are 300+ crew (at least on paper, I'm not sure how it actually looks throughout the fleet), and the Zumwalt was supposed to be 147 crew + 28 for the aviation component (175). I doubt that the practical complement of a larger ship like a LCS is going to be less than 200, but we'll have to see. Ideally, if each LCS that enters service allows a Tico to be retired, theoretically every two Tico's releases enough crew for three LSC's. Replacing the current Tico's 1-for-1 would release a considerable amount of manpower for other ships.
  13. Phoenix_jz

    HMS Nelson vs Bismarck

    Not closing doesn't mean that Nelson has to kite - that generally wasn't a tactic unless you wanted to escape, or draw the enemy towards friendly guns - but simply neglecting to close means the Bismarck is forced to come to you. How long that takes depends on how much protection and firepower the German ship is willing to give up. Fair enough, I was just pointing out why it doesn't really work. The angle of approach would have to be about 35° from the bow for the thicknesses to be equal, ignoring the angle of impact of the shell itself on the inclined bulkhead - which means you'd need to be angled significantly further than 35° off the bow for that frontal bulkhead to be close to the strength of the armor belt abreast the magazines. Unless the angle is greater than 45° off the bow... I don't think it's worth it. Apologies, that was a typo on my part. That should read as 30° off the broadside, or 60° off the bow. I doubt Bismarck would adopt such a steep angle of approach at any point. That being said - the 220mm bulkhead protects the space above the citadel, not the citadel itself. The part of the transverse bulkhead that protects the citadel is below the waterline, but only 180mm thick. Penetrations here would reach the citadel, but anything penetrating the 220mm portion would have to content with the main armor deck. It's a less likely hit location, but even easier to penetrate. Bismarck's fire control computer is a modern one, that would be plenty capable of maintaining plot even after it's own maneuvers (ex, Denmark Strait) - the only thing it couldn't do is firing while maneuvering, due to the lack of RPC in train. That, combined with the fact that only minor course adjustments are needed to avoid torpedoes at such a range, means that Bismarck probably isn't adjusting course by more than 5-10° to avoid shots, and isn't likely to need to re-acquire her target every time she does so. Furthermore, she's likely only going to need a few minutes before she's on targets - even with Hood sprinting in (to the point where Hood's fire control couldn't handle her own course), she was able to straddle within a few salvos. Likely, against a far easier target like Nelson (who isn't trying to sprint to close range), Bismarck would be going into fire for effect within five minutes (heck, she straddled Rodney after three salvos in her final battle, causing the Rodney to adjust course and lose the range). Assuming, with a starting range of 30,000 yards, they close with Nelson's bow angled 50° off from Bismarck, making 20 knots, and Bismarck's bow angled off 60° from Nelson, making 25 knots, after about five minutes the range drops to around 25,500 yards. After 10 minutes, 21,300 yards. 15 minutes, and you're at 17,500 yards. The issue is, unless Nelson keeps turning away, it makes it inevitable that Bismarck will cross her T. Assuming both ships open fire at around 25,500 yards (similar to Denmark Strait) and maintain course (at which point the angle of Bismarck to Nelson's guns is 45° off the port bow, and can penetrate Nelson's frontal bulkhead). Bismarck can quite comfortably maintain course with minor adjustments to throw off torpedo solutions, while Nelson would have to be the one maneuvering more to avoid having her T crossed (and to over her frontal bulkhead). And again - both ships are quite capable of penetrating each other's turret faces, barrettes, and conning towers, at these combat ranges - if we're being generous to Nelson (she may not actually be capable of doing so). But, fire control abilities and rate of fire both favor Bismarck. She is more likely to get on target first, and once she does, will have a higher shell output - and that's not even docking Nelson for her dispersion issues. When those rounds hit, Nelson's just as if not more likely to lose her primary command spaces and main battery turrets as Bismarck, and again - as soon as any shells land near her secondary battery, she's going to be suffering from massive secondary explosions. They're not protected. Ammunition consumption is a fair point - although I doubt the action will last long enough for it to matter. It took Bismarck five four-gun salvos to sink Hood, six if you count the salvo in air when she went up - 20, 24 shells. I don't expect the same thing to happen to Nelson, but at the same time, that's only about 7% of her APC allocation. I don't expect her to exhaust her ammunition before either Nelson is done for or she has been defeated by Nelson. Again, the torpedoes aren't going to alter Bismarck's course by anywhere near that amount, and I don't expect it to hamper rate of fire that much - especially since Nelson herself will have to be constantly have to be adjusting her course if she wishes to avoid having her T crossed (unless she turns away, but as you said, that would be suicide). I think you're way over-valuing the torpedoes in this scenario - if we look at Denmark Strait, where Bismarck was a sitting duck, Rodney fired off her torpedoes (six) at 11,000 yards, and despite Bismarck's lack of evasion - missed with all of them. When Bismarck was a drifting, blazing wreck, she fired four from a few thousand yards, and hit with one. The threat from these fish... is pretty low. As far as mechanical condition - as I said before - there's a difference between faults from lack of training or wear and tear, and faults from design. Even in ideal condition, Nelson's guns are very prone to jamming and were unreliable. If we hand-wave those away, we might as well hand-wave all Bismarck's hoist issues away too.
  14. Phoenix_jz

    Conqueror Kremlin

    Not gonna lie, whenever I see someone screaming 'you lost son', 'checkmate', or 'you've been unmasked' in all caps, that's usually the point where they've lost the argument themselves...
  15. Phoenix_jz

    HMS Nelson vs Bismarck

    I'm not sure I agree with this. If Nelson insists on charging in against Bismarck, she trades away her major advantages - the heavy deck armor, the incline on her armor belt, and her main battery protection. It also plays to cover a major weakness of Bismarck, her poor deck armor. An approach at an angle of 25º from head on also gives Bismarck a number of benefits aside from a closer-ranged fight. Not only does it force Nelson to allow Bismarck to cross her T, but the head-on-approach makes her more vulnerable to hits due to how shells tend to disperse (in range rather than horizontally). It also exposes the weaker frontal bulkhead, which even at such an angle Bismarck can plow through at ranges out to 30,000 yards. This offers overall inferior protection than if Nelson simply sits broadside and maintains range, which, again, plays more to Nelson's advantage. The only real benefit of adopting such an angle of approach is to reduce the chances of the secondary battery barbettes and magazines from being hit or set off by a near-miss. If Nelson insists on approaching in such a manner, it's going to have a very bad time of it. A 50º angle would do very well for Nelson, as this would probably shrink the range of penetration down to around 17,000 yards for the main armor belt (magazines) and 19,000 yards for the machinery - although this doesn't help the barbettes and turret faces. That being said, I doubt that Bismarck would be torpedoed unless Nelson was trying to finish off an already crippled foe - German underwater listening systems were good, so they'd probably just hear it coming and shift course. This would probably be a good course to adopt from the beginning, rather than the initial 25º angle - in the North Sea, you're unlikely to be firing past 30,000 yards, and it's only outside of 30,000 yards that the frontal bulkhead will stop anything. Against the Nelson-class, the preferred angle of engagement was 30º (from the bow), which reduces the range of penetration for the armor belt about around 5,000 yards (Going by the past numbers, that could be anywhere from 15,000 to 26,000 yards, depending on the source - although the turtleback is still immune). All the main battery would still be brought to bear at such an angle. In order to penetrate the deck armor, Nelson would want to stick at range (which would favor the immune zone), as once you pass by 24-25,000 yards she probably can't get into Bismarck's citadel. It would essentially be this span that Nelson would be best placed to try and fight Bismarck, due to the heavy armor advantage. However, North Sea conditions usually aren't very cooperative in this regard - for example, the opening salvoes of the Battle of the Denmark Strait were Hood against Prinz Eugen at 25,000 yards, and Prince of Wales against Bismarck at 26,000 yards. When the Germans responded, the range from Bismarck to Hood was 21,000 yards, and Prinz Eugen to Hood as 23,000 yards. This is essentially an action starting at a point where deck armor keeps both combatants fairly safe from the other, and will quickly close to more decisive range. Agreed on the inherent weakness of Bismarck's small citadel volume. That being said, Nelson's guns were plagued by design issues, not so much wear & tear issues or operator error. Due to the handling arrangements, it wasn't possible to fire a single gun faster than once every 50 seconds (1.2 rpm), and even less in practice due to the need to compensate for dispersion issues. Inherent faults in the system would still cause a significant failure rate, although if we hand-wave away drill errors it won't be quite as bad as it was historically. Regardless, Bismarck still has a considerably higher shell output. For much the reasons as I stated originally, I don't think that Nelson is more likely to come out on top - rather the inverse. Nelson's citadel is well protected, but not as well as Bismarck's - once her opponent gets close enough, it will get penetrated. Her shell output is considerably lower, and her fire control isn't as good. All that stacks on top of the massive Achilles heel that is the essentially unprotected 152mm batteries, which could easily cripple the ship. The 50º approach significantly increases her durability - I'd be curious if the Royal Navy did list preferred angles of approach - but likely isn't enough to turn the tide. The 25º angle of approach, however, would be disastrous.
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